Sunday, 13 January 2013

Hillhead/Jordanhill 5 Ayr 55

It may have been a nippy day at Hughenden but Ayr turned up the heat with a nine-try victory over Hillhead/Jordanhill in their postponed RBS West Regional Cup match.

Hills appeared to get off to the better start with a good break from winger Andy Leslie, but it was Ayr who nabbed the first try after just five minutes.  Captain Calum Forrester went over for the score.  Fly-half Finn Russell claimed the conversion.  0-7.

The next ten minutes or so were a bit ragged, with loose passes from Hills and Ayr unable to take advantage of their mistakes and infringements.  But there was some determined defence from the visitors, with second row Scott Sutherland putting in a huge thumping tackle on Hills flanker Geoff Dunne.

Hills got their first chance to get some points on the board but scrum-half Davie Armstrong missed the penalty kick.

At twenty-four minutes, Ayr prop Nick Cox got the next score, bundling over for a try after some impressive charges.  Russell got the extras.  0-14.

The messy play came back with knocks-on and forward passes, but Ayr capitalised with a try from winger Craig Gossman.  Russell missed the conversion.  0-19.

Five minutes into the second half and Ayr were scoring again, this time replacement scrum-half Murray McConnell crossing the whitewash.  Russell couldn't get the conversion.  0-24.

The Ayr backs were enjoying stretching their legs with some scintillating breaks from full-back Grant Anderson and outside centre Ross Curle.  It was Curle's fast footwork and slick passing that led to the elder Gossman's second try.  Russell's successful conversion brought the scores to 0-31 at fifty-two minutes.

Hills' troubles were exacerbated by the sin-binning of Armstrong for a professional foul at fifty-six minutes.  Two minutes later, Kerr Gossman, making his long-awaited return from a broken hand, flew up the wing for try number six.  Russell's conversion attempt was short.  0-36.

The younger Gossman had clearly decided not to let big brother hog the limelight and snatched another score - from a terrific break by replacement centre Robbie Fergusson - mere minutes after his first.  Russell was again short with the conversion.  0-41.

Replacement hooker Hayden Wisnewski proved he could motor just as well as Ayr's backs and his nifty footwork led to yet another try for a Gossman - this time Craig.  Russell slotted the conversion.  0-48.

It was a degrading scoreline for the home side, but they kept their chins up and took their chances where they could.  Second row David Fisken fought his way over the line for Hills' only try.  Leslie couldn't convert.  5-48.

With eight minutes to go, Ayr found themselves down to fourteen men when Curle let himself down by being sin-binned.  Hills applied some pressure, second row Jonny Agnew bagging an interception but it came to nothing.

Kerr Gossman matched Craig's hat-trick, when he grabbed his third and Ayr's ninth try in the final seconds of the match.  Russell converted with ease to make the final score 5-55.

- Elena Hogarth

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